Raw feeding is something of a controversial topic among dog owners. What you’ll come to find when you explore the world of raw feeding is that there’s a range of both benefits to your pet and also risks. Therefore, how can you know what to do for the best? We believe that it’s important for you to understand both the benefits of raw feeding and also the risks, so that you can make an informed decision as a pet owner. With that in mind, let’s weigh up the pros and cons of raw food, and try to find out what you could be getting yourself and your pet into.
To begin with, let’s take a look at some of the benefits to a raw food diet. The main argument for a raw food diet involves reversing the domestication process. Wolves are the ancestors of dogs, and lived either in the wild or in packs controlled by humans. In either instance, the wolf would have lived almost entirely on a diet of raw meat and bones. This would have given them the strength they would have needed to survive in rough conditions, and was wholly natural.
The same logic applies to the domesticated canine that’s probably asleep in the room with you! Some people argue that a raw food diet is more natural for a dog than kibble or canned foods, and you also know what your dog is eating with certainty. Another school of thought is that without all the padding and filler materials that make up canned food or biscuits, the dog will have a healthier and more natural weight, and potentially avoid certain health problems in later life.
At first glance, the raw food diet sounds like a pretty good idea. However, no diet exists without risks, and you need to understand the risks in order to make the right choice for your beloved pooch. One of the primary worries is that your pet won’t digest vegetables properly and this could lead to a lack of nutrition. Another concern is that these bones might be choke hazards for animals, especially among heavily domesticated dogs which have had the survival instincts of their ancestors dulled and almost repressed over the years. Equally, there is a risk of bacteria from raw meat. While your dog has a far stronger stomach and digestive system, you might be at risk of some of the more common diseases and bacteria which come with raw meat, so prepare it with care.
Overall, there are definite pros and cons to a raw food diet. For some dogs, the return to a natural diet can be a great booster in energy and mood. Others might not take to the change so well. It’s important to be careful when trialling this kind of diet, and stop if you notice any problems. It’s also worth consulting with your vet before you change your dog’s diet, because they’ll have opinions about raw food which will be based in scientific understanding. It’s important do what’s right for your dog – and also to stay safe yourself.